More Garganey?

A pair of Garganey today, this time 1K North of Southease Bridge, on the West side of the river. The same as the two seen south of the bridge last week?

Also three Chiffchaffs there, and one at Arlington Reservoir, while 9 Purple Sandpipers remain at Newhaven Harbour, and a Black Redstart was seen at Splash Point, Seaford.

[sightings via SOS site and the Sussex Nature blog – see latter for pics]

Crane up the valley

At approx. 4.25 this afternoon I watched a Common Crane come into view over Tarring Neville and head north over the west side of Itford Hill at Southease before losing it over the brow, pretty sure I could see some red on the head ageing it as an adult.

Earlier this afternoon at Newhaven Tidemills three Knot  along the tidal creek with fifty five Redshank, Curlew flock put to flight and 60+ birds counted stunning in the sunshine as they wheeled around over the creek one or two calling before returning to their favourite field, lots of Gulls at roost in the fields too. Thirteen Purple Sandpipers counted under the East Pier.

Black Redstart in Lewes + other recent highlights

A Black Redstart eating grapes from a vine at Castle Ditch Lane in central Lewes yesterday (Nick Ostler, via SOS).

Newhaven Harbour - still from video on Flickr by pete pick (click image to view)

At Newhaven, the number of Purple Sandpipers has built to 13 on the East pier (also a Shag there – Paul James, via SOS). Rodmell reported to be quiet, with just nine Corn Buntings and three Little Egrets – it’s often quite late in the winter before Rodmell gets the good stuff.

In Friston Forest, a couple of Firecrests with “even rarer, a single Goldcrest” seen by Bob Edgar (SOS).

Yesterday at Arlington Reservoir reports of 40 dead gulls along the northern shoreline (Tim Godby, SOS) – weather-related fatalities? – plus a couple of male Goldeneyes.

As in most places, both birds and birders probably hunkering down – but in between squalls, still one or two Lesser Redpolls around the cricket pitch at Firle, and increasing numbers of Fieldfares and Redwings around the village.

Weekend roundup

The trickle of early spring migrants continued during the fine weekend.

Old Coach Road, looking west near Beanstalk, FirleBy Saturday, there were at least 5 Chiffchaffs singing around Firle (with territorial Stock Doves (2-3 pairs), Buzzards (1 pair), Green and GS Woodpecker (1 each).

The SOS walk at Newhaven Tidemills turned up more Wheatears, plus 12 Purple Sandpipers on the harbour arm (Neil Greenaway), with a Razorbill on the sea there on Sunday (Roger Barnett).

In the lower Cuckmere Valley, a couple of Scandinavian Rock Pipits were seen by Bob Edgar on the patch of saltmarsh just south of the Golden Galleon (and reports of six there last week), plus a Black Redstart and 2 Wheatears.

Late last week there were a couple of Sand Martins reported at Arlington Reservoir, with the first local House Martin reported today from Hailsham (via Birdguides)

And the last few days have seen many reports of Red Kites – most in West Sussex, but probably worth keeping eyes peeled for them anywhere at the moment.

Osprey over Lewes, Purple Sands at Newhaven

Yesterday, 3 Purple Sandpipers on the eastern arm at Newhaven Harbour (Roger Barnett) and an Osprey west over Malling Lewes on Saturday (Neil Merchant, both per SOS site).